Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 12/27/11 at 03:25 PM ET
Pierre LeBrun of ESPN answers some email rants…
Please tell me what is wrong with the Washington Capitals, I just do not understand. They have such talented individuals in Ovechkin, Semin, Backstrom, and Green (when healthy), to name a few home-grown stars. While the usual production of these players is below par, save Backstrom, that cannot solely explain why the team is doing so poorly….
LeBrun: To me they just rarely look like a “team.” The elite clubs in this league—think Detroit over the past 20-odd years—play as five-man units up and down the ice. They limit gaps for opposing teams to exploit. They control/manage the puck smartly as units. They avoid taking lazy/selfish penalties. That’s what the elite teams in this league do. The Caps have not been that team this year. Alex Ovechkin has but 12 goals. He’s not the same dominant force. The goaltending has been inconsistent. And the Caps are 20th out of 30 teams in five-on-five goals for/against ratio—that’s an important statistic in my mind in rating elite teams. Right now Boston is tops in that statistic, followed by Detroit, San Jose, St. Louis, N.Y. Rangers, Vancouver, Philadelphia and Chicago. I think you see the picture that paints.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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